Whenever a new diet comes out, I go through the same feelings, starting with confusion, proceeding to rage and ending with complete indifference (hmmm. that pattern might say a bit much about me). They all have the same problem: they start with good information and then package it into convenient "rules" to remember which have no basis in reality. To show just how easy this is to do, and just how silly, here's my plan.
The Compost Diet
1.) Eat Rotten Food
Red wine is always being touted as healthy and it turns out that the alcohol is a bigger factor than the antioxidants; wine is rotted grape juice. There are websites devoted to the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, which is rotted apple juice. Yeast breads (especially sourdough) are also rotted. Tempeh, natto and miso are rotted soybeans - unfortunately, most soy sauce is just a concoction of chemicals, rather than fermented soy. Yogurt with live cultures are the latest fad and it's rotted milk. Cheeses, which are salty fat-bombs and thus not particularly healthy, are also rotted milk and it appears that the strange bacteria and molds in them are good for the immune system. I've never tried Vietnamese rotted fish sauces, but air-dried hung beef is considered the best tasting (once you scrape off the mold).
2.) Consider Eating Your Garbage
There's a backlash against potatoes in almost every diet book out today, but part of the problem is that people tend to skin them and all the nutrients are in the skins. The stems and leaves of carrots and turnips are probably better for you nutritionally then are the commonly eaten roots. The leaves of broccoli are sold as rabe, raab or rapini in expensive markets.
3.) If it's bitter, stinks and gives you gas, eat more of it.
The foods that are touted as medicinal are the ones that are barely edible; spices are the prime example. [Try eating a cinnamon stick or vanilla bean.] Foods that would kill your pets are probably good for you - chocolate, onions, etc. Most of the barely edible foods give you a warning; they're bitter or they stink (both true for garlic); bland foods are the ones to avoid.
Soluble fiber is being found more and more to be important for cardiovascular health. Soluble fiber is also what leads to flatulence. It's your choice...
4.) Graze on your lawn and flower gardens.
Dandelions are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. Purslane is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Nettles are full of vitamins and minerals (and surprisingly tasty). Lamb's quarters, catnip, dozens of weeds are good for you. And your lawn is probably about 40% rye to begin with, if you live in a northern climate.
Many flowers are edible (last year I ate squash blossoms and nasturtiums). Many more are used for making herbal teas. Some are being sold over the counter as herbal remedies; I was surprised to find someone was stealing my purple coneflowers so she didn't have to buy echinacea.
And the bugs and worms you find are a great source of protein.
So there you have it. A preposterous diet that's completely reasonable in its basis.
Fisher's Big Wheel
1 week ago